Most of the farmers in the district have started transplantation of paddy from June 10, the date officially announced, but agriculture experts advise them to go slow and wait for the showers. However, most of the farmers are still opting for manual transplantation instead of the direct sowing of rice (DSR) technique, that could save labour expenses, water and time.
The ideal number of plants, as recommended by experts, about 33 per square metre, is also not possible to be achieved with manual transplantation as it consumes too much time and is not viable for the labour engaged for the work.
“The DRS is the only way to solve many problems of the shortage of labour and water besides bringing the overuse of the fertilisers to the minimum recommended dosages level,” said Jagjeet Singh Sekhon, chief agriculture officer, Faridkot.
“When the plant population decreases in the area, it is likely to lead to a decrease in the yield, but farmers apply more fertilisers to compensate the low plant population to get more yield,” he said. “The higher temperature is adverse to transplantation because in case of small and weak nursery, the saplings may get damaged, particularly in less fertile fields. So, we have advised the farmers to go slow,” he added.
“The government should not have allowed the transplantation before June 15, even many farmers were themselves willing to delay the transplantation due to the heat wave and problems of water. But farmers cannot wait as many fall in competition with one another,” said Sukhjinder Singh Brar, a farmer from Niamiwala village.
On farmers not going in for DRS, he cited the lack of technical knowledge. ” Some of the farmers have stopped the application of the technique, but many have adopted it in our areas. If one has all the knowledge about the DSR technique, it is successful otherwise it is a failure.”
“In my village, most of the farmers are transplanting paddy manually. Some had adopted the DSR last year, but there are only a few this year,” said Dharam Singh, a farmer from Panjgrain Kalan village, one of the largest villages in the district.
“In my village, the area under DSR is very negligible, only some big farmers have sown paddy by DSR while most are doing it manually,” claimed Sukhmander Singh from Sarawan village.
“Early irrigation need of DSR is the main problem as power and canal supply i s mainly focused on manual paddy transplantation. The gover nment also needs to give herbicides on subsidised rates.
The traditional mindset and the lack of education are also among other reason for lack of interest.”